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Library of General Linguistics and Historical-Comparative Linguistics

Library use during Covid-19

Workstations for research purposes

Due to the ongoing pandemic there is still limited access to the library. We kindly ask you to use the central library's e-resources whenever possible. For full access outside the university network you need VPN access, instructions here. However, there will be a limited number of workstations available. These can be booked via the faculty's scheduler application down below.

Two workstations are available per time slot. One time slot is 45 minutes. A maximum of two slots can be booked per day and person.

The following regulations apply:

  1. A valid seminar card (students of linguistics, see below) or student ID (other students) is to be deposited at the reception.
  2. We highly recommend to cover your mouth and nose with a medical or FFP2 mask at all times.
  3. Please sanitize your hands before entering. Hand sanitizer is provided in the stairway.
  4. We are obliged to air the library rooms regularly. Please be prepared to work with the windows open.

Borrowing and returning books

It is still possible to borrow and return books and audio equipment. The following modalities apply:

  1. Since we are normally a reference library, borrowing is generally reserved for students of the Department of Linguistics (i.e. BA Linguistics and Phonetics, MA Linguistics etc.). Students of other deparments or institutes need an authorization from their lecturer in order to borrow books. Please also note our library regulations (in German)
  2. Journals, working papers, handbooks and dictionaries are cannot be borrowed (see our library regulations).
  3. Students of the Department of Linguistics need a green seminar card to borrow books. You will receive this upon presentation of the filled-in application form, a current certificate of enrollment and a photo. We ask you to mail the required documents in advance: ifl-bib[at]uni-koeln[dot]de.
  4. Registration in the scheduler is possible up to 24 hours in advance. Please indicate the complete signature of the desired books when registering.
  5. The regular loan period is one week. Extensions are possible. Audio equipment must be returned on the next opening day (see below).
  6. Wearing a mouth and nose protection (medical or FFP2) is mandatory for entering our library. Please sanitize your hands before entering. Hand sanitizer is provided in the stairway.

Appointments are available for the following time slots:

  • Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The time arrangements are to be kept under all circumstances, so that unnecessary personal contact can be avoided. If something should come up at short notice, we urgently ask you to let us know by phone or e-mail (see below). We would like to emphasize that it is no longer possible to enter the library outside the booked time window!

If you have any further questions, please contact our student assistants via phone (0221 / 470 61 51) or e-mail (ifl-bib[at]uni-koeln[dot]de).

For further information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit the central page of the rectorate.

Click here to book an appointment. Please specify whether you would like to borrow/return books, or want to use a workstation. Registration is possible up to 24 hours in advance.

(Last updated: Feb 1st, 2022)


The joint library of the departments of General Linguistics (GL) and Historical-Comparative Linguistics (HCL) is a reference library. It is possible for students of the institute to borrow books over the weekend. The library regulations (German) apply (the library regulations are currently being revised. At the moment deviations from the actual handling are possible).

Online research is made possible by the online presence of the Kölner Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek (UB). Using the search function there, the university-wide literature holdings can be searched. If you only want to search within the library of the GL and HCL, you can filter the search by location (Department of Linguistics).

Please note:

  • our literature stock is only accessible there by English keywords.
  • Individual languages are keyworded with "language" (e.g. Turkish language), language families with "languages" (e.g. Bantu languages).
  • Individual journal articles or contributions to anthologies which are not available as electronic resources are usually not accessible via the UB catalogue. To search for journals, select the item journal catalogues (no articles) in the advanced search or filter your search results on the left side by media type.


Equipment rental

Students of the Department of Linguistics have the possibility to borrow recording devices or microphones during some seminars. For this purpose, early registration (at least one to two days) at geraeteverleih-ifl(at) and a valid seminar card upon collection is necessary.

The equipment can be rented for one day or over the weekend. Exceptions are possible by arrangement.